Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Morning Bird in Waigeo of Raja Ampat

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise
I had a nice birding walk in Waigeo a few days ago. I guided two tourists from the United States. We went hiking early in the morning to watch Red Bird of Paradise in southern area of the island. We left Raja Ampat Dive Resort at 04.45 by a small motorized boat for the birding ground. The boat landed at a narrow beach. We continued our trip by hiking for around 1 hour 30 minutes. When we arrived, the rain began to fall. We were very determined to watch the birds so, we decided to wait.
As the sun light slowly appeared in the east, the sounds of bird calls could be heard in from all direction of the forest. I could recognize some of them including Hooded Butcherbird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Red-cheeked Parrot, and Helmetted Friarbird.
Thirty minutes later, the rain stopped for a while but continued again for half an hour. At around 07.45, the rain fully stopped. The red bird of paradise rushed to their "poles" and proudly showed their colorful feather while performing courtship dance. We were very lucky that morning. We saw them mating.
White pigeon in Waigeo island
Pied Imperial Pigeon
After watching the Red Bird of Paradise, we walked back to the beach. While walking down the slope, we saw some birds such as Blyth's hornbill, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot and a lot of other tropical birds.
The coral reef of Raja Ampat is very beautiful. So, we decided to take a dive excursion the next day. We dived in Mioskon. The coral reef is very beautiful and the marine life is abundant.
We continued our birding excursion by exploring the karst in Kabui. Here, we saw Spice Imperial Pigeon, Little-pied Cormorant, Striated Heron, Singing Starling,  Moustached Treeswift, White-bellied Sea Eagle, White-breasted Woodswallow, Lesser Frigate Bird, Lesser-crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Brahminy Kite and a lot more.
We also enjoyed snorkeling at a beach in Gam island during the bay tour. It was a nice adventure trip and I plan to return to Raja Ampat again soon.
Birding Equipment
Palm Cockatoo, kakaktua raja
Palm Cockatoo in Raja Ampat
In my previous birding trip to the same birding site last year, I brought my very old and outdated digital camera Fujifilm HS50EXR. This time I used Canon 200D with Tamron's 150-600 mm lens. The reach of Tamron's lens was shorter than the HS50EXR's 1,000 mm Fujinon lens. However, due to its larger sensor, the picture quality is better.
Visitors who plan to visit Raja Ampat for birding, snorkeling or even scuba diving need to make adequate preparations before the trip. Basic tools such as binoculars, camera, extra batteries, flashlight, snorkeling set, t-shirts, and flip-flops should be added into their bags. Some food supplements and multi-vitamins can also be included to make sure that during the tour travelers can get enough supply of energy and vitamins in their body. Bringing those food supplements is not a must but could greatly enhance one's health condition. Fruits are available in local market. Ion supply drinks can also be bought in shops both in Sorong city and Waisai town.